An exploration of foundational design thinking across educational domains | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1474-273X
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0896



To teach design effectively, foundational design thinking needs to be understood. Treating the design process as a mysterious mental talent provides little scope for teaching the subject. This study explores the origin of designs and how experience impacts the sophistication of design ideas across educational domains. Secondary and tertiary students were given a common architectural brief and students’ outcomes were compared and contrasted to seek commonalities or differences in their approaches to solving design problems. In addition, interviews were conducted with participants and a panel of design experts to further explore the students’ design practices. The results provide an insight into design cognition from multiple viewpoints. We suggest that designs come from various forms of copying; metaphors, analogies and icons are used as preconceptions by which a design problem is understood. Moreover, experience had a direct link to expertise, which is evident across educational domains.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error